Self Leadership

Self-leaders have a drive for autonomy, can make decisions, are more creative and persist, even in the face of adversity. Self-Leadership shows others who you are and if you are the type of person they want to follow.

What is self-leadership?

Self-leadership is the practice of intentionally influencing your thinking, feeling and behaviors to achieve your objectives. It enables a person to fulfill their potential while building a strong foundation from which to make daily decisions — both professionally and personally. Self-Leadership starts on the inside, your “SELF”. Having a clear understanding of who you are and what you want is the starting point to successfully Self-Lead.

Why is self-leadership important?

Self Leadership
Self Leadership

According to John Saddington self-leadership starts first and foremost with integrity. “The most important ingredient of becoming an exceptional leader is the ability to lead oneself. It’s one’s ability to make the critical and very difficult decisions when there will be no visible outcause and certainly no public recognition.” Self-leaders exercise personal responsibility (autonomy) and are accountable to the objectives they agree to. Self leadership is, therefore, the most important competency for leaders, employees and entrepreneurs to be successful. Self leadership is driven by clear intention which leads to influence and impact.

Great self-leadership begins with self-awareness (consciousness of one’s own values/strenghts/weaknesses) moves to self-management (harnessing of one’s own passions/emotions/abilities) then proceeds to other-awareness (recognising potential/passion in others)  culminating in other-management (motivating/developing others’ potential).


Self-Leadership means mastering some essential skills of personal leadership:

Self Leadership
  • Responsibility – To take courageously take responsibility for yourself.
  • Focus Being very clear what you are saying yes to – and maintaining focus on that YES
  • TruthfulnessMeans being authentic which stems from being consistent in your thinking, words & deeds
  • Emotional masteryAn awareness of what you’re feeling and how to feel it entirely, by shifting your emotions to serve you.
  • Empathy Being able to see and perceptually experience from another’s position


Self-leadership is vital because:

  • When you truly know yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, you will appreciate others.
  • It embeds emotional intelligence crucial in achieving your potential.
  • It offers leaders a long-term perspective on life and success, ensuring a holistic, bigger-picture menatlity.


How does self-leadership affect you and those around you?

Self Leadership
Self Leadership

If you wish to lead others, you must start by leading yourself. By finding your own brand of courage, you help others find theirs. Starting with self-leadership, you can amplify your efforts through others, harnessing their talents, energy and passion so that together, your team, business or organisation, can create synergy and achieve more than any sum of the parts ever could. The extent to which those around you will be willing to speak up, think outside the box, and act courageously, will be influenced by how willing you are to do the same. As the leader of your life and business, you need to develop your self-leadership and model the behaviors and traits you desire from the people around you.

  • Effective self-leadership reinforces the feeling of safety. When people feel safe, they trust and cooperate.
  • Successful leaders make a choice to put the people first and then remarkable things happen.
  • Those around great leaders are afforded prospects to build their self-confidence and receive opportunities to attempt new experiences and learn new skills.
  • Self-Leadership is most effective when those you lead feel respected and experience positive influence — people generally want to work for, and with, people they like.
  • A good leader determines the best motivation style to use with people in order to have the most powerful influence on them.

Self-leadership: As a closing thought, consider the following:

Self Leadership

In business and in their personal lives, many people who are having trouble accomplishing goals suffer quietly by assuming the worst. They think they don’t have the power to do anything about it and refuse to ask for the help they need. Effective self-leaders are able to avoid self-defeating beliefs, leverage their points of power, and collaborate with others—resulting in goal achievement, independence, and the ability to lead others more effectively.